Tips for Formatting Scholarship Application Essays
When writing a personal essay, ensure it is properly formatted. Scholarship committees critique essay content, format, and style. Many committee members will review the format before reading the essay. Since poorly formatted essays can raise red flags, format your essay professionally.
Scholarship Essay Formatting Tips:
- It's essential to format the essay as outlined in the scholarship application instructions.
- Once you have finished and edited the essay, print it on quality paper. Many students submit essays printed on standard paper, so submitted essays on quality paper stand out.
- Write your essay utilizing a professional and legible font. Never use script font. The following fonts are recommended: Arial, Tahoma, Calibri, Verdana, Times New Roman.
- Use proper font size. When not listed in scholarship instructions, utilize 10-12 point for the body and 14 point for headings.
- Before printing your final copy to be submitted, make sure your printer has an adequate amount of ink.
- Do not crease paper when unnecessary, and ensure it's not smudged.
- Avoid placing your essay in an envelope requiring folding. Instead, use a large envelope containing all relevant documents. However, many scholarship application forms request small envelopes.
- Thoroughly review the essay for spelling and grammatical errors.
- Have a parent, teacher, or friend with good writing skills review your essay.
Many of you have started work on your essays so we wanted to share the top 8 mistakes applicants make on their essays:
1. Not making Essay B specific to the GSB.
2. Choosing a topic for Essay 3A, B, C, or D that is NOT within 3 years.
3. Combining your 2 essay C's into 1 essay.
4. Cutting and pasting your essays from essays you've written for other schools. You risk not answering the question we're asking...and big risk of leaving the name of the other school in your Stanford essay!
5. Writing what you think we want to hear, instead of what you genuinely want us to know about you. Be yourself...corny but true!
6. Single-spacing your essays. Please double space--our readers are reading hundreds of applications.
7. Using too small of a font on your essays. Please use 12-point font. Remember, our readers' eyes!
8. Using an alternate font for essays. Use one of the recommended fonts: Arial, Courier, and Times New Roman to avoid legibility problems when your essays are downloaded on our end.
For more information about the essay questions for the class entering fall 2011 visit Essays
Good luck with your essays,
Associate Director of MBA Admissions